Internet is widely considered to be one source where people can get information on any issue from a neutral perspective as opposed to mainstream media, which runs on its own agenda and bias. But in countries like Pakistan, not only is there lack of freedom of press, but also internet is not out of bounds from the grabs of the government censorship.
Due to a lot of blasphemous material that has come out recently in the past of couple of years, the government has increased internet censorship. According to a report by an American advocacy group, Freedom House, even bloggers had to face violence and their freedom of speech was curtailed.
In their ranking, Pakistan scored 63 points and the status was declared to be ‘not free’. Pakistan was concluded to practice internet censorship for such reasons as banning virtual private networks and also closing down on internet access throughout the country as well as arresting some of the bloggers due to their political writings.
Although many people do appear in the mainstream media, on electronic and print, who either oppose the government, or say things against other political parties, but they are not banned or threatened, because most of them have powers themselves. Whereas, a blogger is a civilized citizen of this country, however, is often put behind bars to practice the right to free speech, which is the first value given by a democratic society.
In a free country, every citizen is entitled to his or her opinion. Pakistan certainly has a long way to go to be a democratic country and one of the first to-do things will be to give freedom of access to the internet, not banning it during blasphemous episodes and also letting bloggers have their right to free expression.